Astroborne Aerospace plans for Asia’s first private training institute

Indian space exploration leaps with private company Astroborne Aerospace’s plans for Asia’s first private astronaut training facility at Navi Mumbai.

India’s foray into space exploration is taking another leap forward as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) focuses on human spaceflight. Alongside this government-led initiative, private companies are making significant strides in the space industry. Among them, Mumbai-based Astroborne Aerospace is actively working to enhance human spaceflight capabilities and pioneer space tourism.

Astroborne Aerospace is currently in discussions with the Maharashtra government to secure a 4-acre plot in Navi Mumbai, where it plans to establish what could potentially become Asia’s first private astronaut training facility. If the land acquisition is finalized, Astroborne’s co-founder and CEO, Akshat Mohite, envisions the facility becoming operational within 18 to 24 months. The facility aims to cater to private astronauts, government personnel, and space enthusiasts.

Despite being in its early stages, Astroborne has received inquiries from around 450 aspiring astronauts, anticipating a substantial demand for its training programs. The proposed facility will offer specialized training modules, featuring hypoxia chambers, space suit acclimatization, G-Force exposure, and spacecraft ingress/egress simulations. An onsite analogue habitat will support prolonged and highly realistic mission simulations, promoting innovation in aerospace education.

The aspiring astronaut program is expected to span a month, while commercial astronaut training will be more extensive, and government astronaut training will extend further. Astroborne has established a strategic partnership with the renowned U.S. astronaut training facility, Nastar Centre, which will provide training and certification for Astroborne’s trainers.

Securing investments for its venture, Astroborne is set to commence operations soon, with the first tranche of Rs 25 crore expected in early February. The proposed training facility, covering 1.5 acres within the 4-acre plot, represents a significant step toward realizing Astroborne’s vision.

In addition to its training initiatives, Astroborne is also leading the development of India’s inaugural six-seater commercial space module named Airawat. Designed for suborbital space tourism missions, Airawat aims to reach altitudes of up to 400 km, offering a thrilling experience in the realm of space exploration.

Astroborne Aerospace’s ambitious endeavours align with the broader trend of increased private sector involvement in the space industry, marking a promising chapter in India’s space exploration journey. As private companies actively contribute to space research, the country is poised to make significant strides in both government-led and private space initiatives.